GreeneSpace

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Bias

Laura Moore and I went on the Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour yesterday. We got to our first stop promptly, at 10 a.m. We were so early, somehow, that we found the lovely garden at 109 Oak Park Drive stone quiet, nobody home. So this is what it's like to be early! we said. A small, beautiful back yard patio garden; we noted the lovely tulips and daffodils and went on. The second garden too, at 101 Hayworth Drive, seemed empty, but there were voices coming from the screened porch. Soon we were greeted by the lady of the house, Gus St. John, who happens to be president of the Chapel Hill Garden Club. "You know, the tour is next weekend," she said with a garden club smile.

Oops! Neither of us had caught the other's stupid mistake. The fact is that we thought this weekend was a fine weekend for a garden tour. Never mind that it was Saturday-Sunday and the Sunday was Easter. That was just the first clue we missed. We thought nothing of the fact that there were no signs saying "turn here for garden tour," none saying "here's the house," nobody at the garden gate validating our $15 tickets. In other words there was every sign trying to tell us something was wrong, yet we probably would have kept visiting empty gardens until somebody called our trespass. We were biased in favor of the wrong date.

The will to believe is a powerful, scary thing.